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Weight of an 18-foot bine?

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FullThrottle64

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I'm putting together my trellis design, and started wondering what the total weight supported will be. Can anyone share a rough idea of the final weight per plant, or per bine?

Can you get 25 plants in a row between two well-supported poles, or would that require a middle pole?

I want to get this right the first time, and it seems clear that a quick-n-dirty attempt with PVC pipe or equivalent won't support the total weight.....or will it? Does it really need to be 6x6 lumber, or can safely get by with something smaller?

Thanks in advance.
 

CodeSection

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I'm putting together my trellis design, and started wondering what the total weight supported will be. Can anyone share a rough idea of the final weight per plant, or per bine?

Can you get 25 plants in a row between two well-supported poles, or would that require a middle pole?

I want to get this right the first time, and it seems clear that a quick-n-dirty attempt with PVC pipe or equivalent won't support the total weight.....or will it? Does it really need to be 6x6 lumber, or can safely get by with something smaller?

Thanks in advance.
You might want to reach out to @Ruint as he is filled with a wealth of information.
 

CodeSection

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These links may help.....


 

Ruint

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Thank you for the kind reference @CodeSection! The potential for each hop plant is about 30 to 35 pounds vegetal weight. That does not include the weight of water or wind shear. When it rains it will add weight, and when the wind blows it adds pressure, which will act as weight. Easily doubles the weight of the plant itself. In the first and second years of growth, you can get away with a 75 pound rated coir. 3rd year and beyond you will probably be best suited with 100# rated. If you are going to grow for production, highly advise you to look into "V" trellis design and leave the single vertical trellis alone, except for first year growth where you will not have to have the "V" second line on because your growth will not warrant it. Smallest pole??? I used larch trees with the bark stripped off or black locusts trees for poles. Optimum height for top line in trellis is 18 feet, which means you will need 22' to 23' foot poles. The very minimum diameter of the top of that pole was 4" with a base of 8" to 12" . We did actually use some monsters. You will need machinery!!! Front load tractor with 3 point pto that has some horsepower to it. A converted hay wagon that has scaffolding attached firmly so you can attach the coir to the top line, and also be able to use when harvesting the hops. You will need a LOT of manpower, when training and harvesting. This will not be an easy endeavor!!!
 
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FullThrottle64

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Thanks @Ruint - that's very helpful.

This year, it's two rows in only, with 21 Hallertauer plants and 26 Crystal rhizomes. It's tight, with a bit over 7 feet between the rows and 30" between plants.

It's in a convenient location with the east end about 10 ft off an unused concrete grain silo that will act as one end/corner of the trellis layout. Aside from the silo itself, sun is unobstructed.

Next year, if all goes well, I'll plant about an acre in an unused portion of the land and see if it can work at scale. If the market is good and hops plants like my soil, then I could decide to terminate the existing lease and shift the whole farm over from feed grain. That's a big investment and commitment, but my passive lease income is small enough that I don't stand to lose a whole bunch of income

My intent is to stick with the higher yielding aroma hops, but may shift that based on local brew pubs' needs.
 

Ruint

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Yes, see what the "locals" are using for their brews. Then see if those hops grow favorably in your particular region, and/or if they would use a substitute hop if they don't grow well there. Space on the ground between plants should be measured against how long the side arms grow. It is a real ball buster untangling bines from one another. I promise, they will draw blood from you! LoL!! I am laughing about it, but seriously.....most people have no idea that hops can be as non-friendly they are!! I used a fairly standard 36 inches in between, and had a few that would tangle. It turns out that 7 feet separation is ideal distance at the top lines, or at the top, open end of the "v", if you choose that. It does use more hardware going that route, but yield potential balances that easily. Careful about what aroma variety you go for. I can tell you that cascades were really hot. Everybody wanted them. Then everybody was growing them. They are awesomely aggressive growers, too! Very impressive! But getting back to one thing....Everybody growing them, flooded the market, and quite a few brewers moved on to other hops! So you had an abundance of that hops, little demand for it. Hard time giving it away. Research will definitely benefit you. Hallertauer is a good choice, very versatile, and sought after. Can be a bit finicky on soil. Really recommend doing a raised row planting with them, as they really don't like sitting in water. They like to drink a lot of it, just have to make sure the crown has good drainage away from it.
 
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FullThrottle64

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Yes, see what the "locals" are using for their brews.
There is also a local growers co-op, so I should be able to get started without having to put in ALL of the heavy processing equipment.

Space on the ground between plants should be measured against how long the side arms grow. It is a real ball buster untangling bines from one another. I promise, they will draw blood from you! LoL!! I am laughing about it, but seriously.....most people have no idea that hops can be as non-friendly they are!! I used a fairly standard 36 inches in between, and had a few that would tangle. It turns out that 7 feet separation is ideal distance at the top lines, or at the top, open end of the "v", if you choose that. It does use more hardware going that route, but yield potential balances that easily.
Yeah, I'm assuming that I will have to learn how these things work. That's the reason for a small 1st-year planting on a piece of secondary land - to make my mistakes in a place where they won't mess up the main production areas.

Careful about what aroma variety you go for. I can tell you that cascades were really hot. Everybody wanted them. Then everybody was growing them. They are awesomely aggressive growers, too! Very impressive! But getting back to one thing....Everybody growing them, flooded the market, and quite a few brewers moved on to other hops! So you had an abundance of that hops, little demand for it. Hard time giving it away. Research will definitely benefit you. Hallertauer is a good choice, very versatile, and sought after. Can be a bit finicky on soil. Really recommend doing a raised row planting with them, as they really don't like sitting in water. They like to drink a lot of it, just have to make sure the crown has good drainage away from it.
I chose Hallertauer for the reasons you mention (and I like Hefeweizen), and Crystal because of the decently high yield. For the test year, they should be fine, and later as a source of rhizomes for the main fields if I decide to stick with them. If I choose other varieties, I can just keep these around for personal use and small hobbyist packs.
 
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